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Work while you study

Working while you study is a good way to earn some extra money, as well as improving your English if you are not a native speaker.

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Working on a student visa

Depending on your student visa conditions, you may be able to work up to 20 hours a week and full-time in the holidays. Your visa will show the number of hours you are allowed to work.

In special cases, some students may be allowed to work for more than 20 hours a week. Master's or PhD students may work full-time while they are studying.

You need to be 16 years or older to work.

After you've finished studying, you can apply for a post study work visa if you want to stay in New Zealand.

Employment law

When you're offered a job in New Zealand you should receive a written employment agreement from your employers. This will outline your hours of work, salary and obligations as a worker.

New Zealand has laws that protect you as a worker, including:

  • a minimum wage for all employees over 16
  • laws for holiday pay and working on public holidays
  • basic health and safety rules for every workplace, including rest breaks

These rights apply even if they are not written into your employment agreement.


You have to pay tax on the money you earn from working. 

If you earn a wage or salary, Inland Revenue (or IRD) usually collects your tax directly from your employer. You will need an IRD number and you will need to give your employer a tax code, which depends on how many jobs you have.

Detailed information

For detailed information on working while you study, employee rights and tax, see the Immigration New Zealand website NZ Study+Work.